As Nigeria’s population continues to increase with a consistent shift in population demographics, especially among the younger generation; from Millennials to Gen Z, there is a need to put strategic plans in place to make agriculture attractive to them. Gone are the days when youths want to suffer on a job or business; these days they are talking codes and machines, looking for almost instant results; hence why agriculture should be rebranded and represented with the language the youth understand. By implementing these strategies, farming in Nigeria can become more attractive to the younger generation, fostering innovation, economic growth, and sustainable agriculture practice. The benefits, opportunities, and advancements in the agricultural sector can be showcased to the young ones through some of the strategies below:
1. Technological integration: Showcase the use of modern technologies in farming to make it more efficient and appealing. For example, emphasise the use of drones for crop monitoring, precision agriculture techniques, and automated machinery for tasks like planting and harvesting. Highlight how these technologies can reduce manual labour, increase productivity, and lead to better yields.
2. Entrepreneurship and innovation: This begins first with introducing them into the world of agribusiness. By encouraging the younger generation to view farming as a business opportunity rather than just a traditional occupation, more hands will be on the farm to ensure our food security. Also, the highlight of success stories of young entrepreneurs, who have ventured into innovative agricultural practices, such as hydroponics, aquaponics, vertical farming, or organic farming, should be prioritised. These examples can inspire young people to see farming as a way to create their own startups and contribute to the economy.
3. Education and training: Investment in agricultural education and training programs that are targeted towards young individual should not be trivialised. Also, in a mixed economy like Nigeria’s, individuals, organisations with governments should establish legal agricultural institutes or vocational training centres that provide practical knowledge and skills in modern farming techniques. From time to time; workshops, seminars, and mentorship programmes should be organised to bridge the knowledge gap and expose young people to the various aspects of farming.
4. Financial support, networking and collaboration: Young farmers need all the motivation they can get to get fully initiated and established. Through finances, provision of connections, links and so on; which could make farming a more attractive career choice should be provided for young farmers. Also farm organisations and bodies can also facilitate platforms where they can connect, share experiences, exchange ideas, and collaborate on projects. These networks can provide support, mentorship, and a sense of belonging, making farming more appealing and less isolating.
5 Marketing and branding: Youth desire ready-made things including available markets for their produce. The concept of “farm-to-table” and the importance of locally-grown, fresh produce can be emphasised. Also, the value of organic farming, sustainable practices, the health benefits of consuming locally-sourced food and a positive image of farming must always be pushed in the media to woo the youth. By implementing these strategies, farming in Nigeria can become more attractive to the younger generation, fostering innovation, economic growth, and sustainable agricultural practices.